Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that on the one hand, Europe says that Turkey is irreplaceable to ensure its security, and on the other, the European Union adopts strange and contradictory decisions.
ANKARA (Sputnik) — Ankara expects European Union leaders to denounce the European Parliament's resolution in favor of freezing EU accession talks with Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Thursday.
European lawmakers voted on Thursday in favor of freezing EU accession talks with Turkey. The 751-member legislative body voted 479 in favor and 37 against the non-binding resolution in a roll-call broadcast on the EP's audiovisual service. A total of 107 EU lawmakers abstained. The day before, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the resolution would have no significance for his country.
"On the one hand, Europe says that Turkey is irreplaceable to ensure its security, and on the other, they adopt strange and contradictory decisions. We expect the leaders of EU member states to raise their voices against such shortsightedness," Yildirim told reporters.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on November 4 that the EU was "gravely concerned" by the crackdown in Turkey after the July coup attempt. European politicians are dissatisfied with renewed attempts to reinstate the death penalty in Turkey, as well as by closures of media outlets, arrests of journalists and Kurdish opposition leaders that have rocked the country since an unsuccessful bid to overthrow the Turkish president on July 15-16.
Turkey signed an association agreement with the then-European Community in 1963, and submitted a membership application in 1987. Talks about Ankara's membership of the European Union began in 2005. The negotiations on Turkey's EU membership have been repeatedly suspended due to the Cyprus dispute and Turkey's record of denying press freedom, among other obstacles.